One of the questions that I have received frequently via “Ask Evangelism Coach” has been on the role of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism.
That as a topic is broad, so I’ll begin a series of posts on that topic. Here is an older post I wrote: Role Of The Holy Spirit In Evangelism that speaks of the actual conversation moment.
Prepare the way
The focus of this post will be on the work of the Holy Spirit in your life before you came to faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus makes this claim: “No one comes unto me unless the Father draws him.”
That drawing, that wooing is accomplished by the activity of the Holy Spirit.
To use the cultivation imagery as found the in the New Testament, one might say the Holy Spirit prepares the soil, waters the seed, and prepares the seed for harvest.
Think about your own conversion journey. Or if you don’t have a season in time where you know you became a Christian, think about the early influences upon your life that shaped your faith.
- How many individual conversations about God did you have?
- How many different individuals helped you talk about your faith while exploring Christianity?
- How many different sermons did you hear?
- Where there songs, art, poetry, or music that moved you to explore Christianity more?
- Did you have some late nights pondering life issues such as is there life after death, how do you find meaning, how can you ?
- How many times did you look at the beauty of nature and wonder about the nature of God?
As I have coached people in developing their personal faith story or testimony, I have seen a few common tools that the Holy Spirit uses to draw people to Jesus.
These conversations between friends, and sometimes between strangers, add up over the course of time.
Some people can point to specific conversations that set them on a journey to find the truth about Jesus, or presented plausible explanations for their questions.
Some people can point to several conversations that had a cumulative effect of helping them deciding to follow Jesus.
Individually, these conversations may not cover all topics related to a faith journey, but over a period of time, they gather the collective weight to help one examine the Christian faith and make an intelligent and informed choice to follow Jesus.
I think of causal conversations over a bar-b-que at a picnic, friendly chatter at a stay at home dad’s group, or casual chit-chat while playing golf.
In your life, you might be able to recall several individual conversations that eventually pointed you to faith in Christ.
2. God’s self revelation
God sometimes will reveal Himself in some way to the person seeking to find Him.
This might come in the form of an answered prayer, a clear act of guidance, or an encounter in worship. This might come while reading the Bible for the first or second time, or while admiring the beauty of nature.
In my journey to faith, there were two distinct moments where I was aware of God’s self-revelation. One was an answered prayer, and the other was the night I decided to follow Jesus with my life.
I have coached people (see: Do you Need Evangelism coaching?) who have similar stories, where a self-revelation of God is part of their journey to faith, often helping the individual discover that God is not only real, but wants to be involved in their life.
3. Contemplations or Reflections
I am convinced that many go through times in their life when their brain mulls over spiritual things.
- What happens when I die?
- How can I find peace in the face of death?
- How can I know forgiveness?
- How can I find purpose and direction in life?
- Is life here on earth meaningful, or purposeless?
These life questions pop into our minds from time to time. Sometimes during major life transitions, other times when things seem the be falling apart. They come when one is backpacking up a mountain and takes in the vista from the peak. They come when on a small boat, out in the middle of the Pacific ocean under the star light sky when the moon is not out.
These questions burden our soul and sometimes keep us awake at 2 in the morning. Other times, they dance in our brain as when we feel the need to think about life at that level.
I am convinced that the Holy Spirit uses these contemplations to point out our spiritual yearnings, our desire to connect with God, and our desire to participate in God’s plan for our life.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the proclamation of the Word of God.
I have met many people that started going to church because of the first three tools here. A small diet of excellent preaching is often used by the Holy Spirit to help people discover their faith. The Holy Spirit empowers the preaching to communicate to the deep areas of the human heart.
Let me ask you this?
What would you add to this list? What helped you come to faith in Christ?
Share it with us in the comment section below. I’d like to come up with a list of 10 and could use your help.